Last summer I worked through Sandra Stanley’s devotional titled “Breathing Room” and was convicted to change my ways. It didn’t happen right away. In fact, it took a pandemic! But I got there.
I didn’t realize how much I needed breathing room until it was imposed on me. I knew on paper I needed it – one look at my calendar and it was a no brainer! It just wasn’t practical. How am I supposed to have breathing room when there are so many things to do and the world will collapse if I don’t do them?
Anybody been there?
With the forced pause in the action due to COVID-19, I have breathing room in abundance! No more practices. My hours at work are reduced. Another job I was supposed to do for 8 weeks was cancelled. There are no school committee meetings, no coffee dates with friends, not really much of anything, and…
… it’s really, really nice! I can honestly say this is the first time in my life I’ve had breathing room.
Rushing to practice has been replaced with relaxed family meals – that I actually had time to cook! Hours that would have been spent at work are being used to help the kids with distance learning. Meetings and coffee dates have been replaced with intentional phone calls and check ins. Is there time for a family walk or bike ride? YES! Want to take a moment to check in on someone who might need help? ABSOLUTELY!
I’ve got to be careful though, because all of that has the potential to change in a matter of moments.
The calendar that has been relatively open is starting to fill back up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that things are opening (within reason of course) but I don’t want my pre-COVID normal to be my post-COVID normal.
I’m guessing you don’t either.
So how do we avoid that? Fortunately, that study I read last summer is coming in very handy! (Seriously, if you haven’t worked through Breathing Room, buy it now.)
One of the verses Sandra references in her section on “time” is Psalm 90:12.
Sandra talked about the need to understand the value of our time. When we acknowledge that our time is valuable and limited, we gain a heart of wisdom. We can wisely decide who or what is worth our time.
This filter is just what I need, and now I truly have a chance to apply it as things open up and I’m in a position to say yes or no to what goes back on my calendar.
This is a huge deal, because before COVID the people and things that were most important to me were getting squeezed out by my self-defined, important list of activities. Just being honest. Do you know the worst part? I was letting life get so full that I wasn’t allowing time to truly embrace what God was specifically setting before me. Again, just being honest.
I don’t want to casually drift back to the way things were. Yes, I want time with friends. Yes, I want the kids to be involved in activities. Yes, I want to serve in my community. What I want more than anything, though, is to make sure that life doesn’t get so full that I don’t have the time or energy to do the things that God has specifically marked out for me. Thank you, Sandra, for encouraging me to set guardrails and use filters for my time.
A lesson about choosing things I’m called to do rather than what I can do is just what I needed.
Do you need some guardrails and filters too?